Why doesn’t my husband understand?

Do you sometimes get really frustrated with your husband when he doesn’t see the need to tackle a project quickly?  Do you get exasperated when he doesn’t seem to have a clue how you feel or why you feel the way you do?  Well, here’s a news bulletin.  He doesn’t understand how you think and feel because he’s not a woman!  In Genesis 1:27, we are reminded that God created two distinctly different kinds of people…. “male and female he created them.”  Your man doesn’t think or emote like you because God created him to be different than you!

Men don’t generally sense an urgency to get the kid’s schedule figured out or the house vacuumed.  But you do.  Men don’t usually like to sit and talk about their concerns regarding the children or their job.  You might need to do that, but men generally check out by entering the “nothing box” in their head!

I guess what I’m saying is…don’t be surprised that your husband doesn’t seem to understand you.  He won’t understand you all the time because you’re a woman and he is not. This makes it all the more important for you to have good female friendships.  Make it a point to spend some time with other women, in person or on the phone, at least twice a week.  You need someone to understand and validate your thoughts, fears, hopes, and frustrations.  (Just one caution though.  Don’t bad-mouth your husband in the process.)

Understanding your husband’s brain!

Sometimes, men are so hard to understand!  When we first see our husbands at the end of our work day, whether working away from home or inside the home, we LOVE to talk about how the day has gone.  We eagerly await our husband’s arrival so that we can share the details about the children, the crazy thing the neighbors did today, the weird stuff that happened at work, etc.  We LOVE to verbally process the day with our husbands.  But guess what?  Most men loathe communicating with their wives as soon as they walk in the door.  They long to spend some time in their “nothing box”.  Huh?

It’s hard for women to understand a man’s need for his “nothing box” because most women don’t even know what one is!  I’ve had a few men explain it to me, and here’s the basic idea.  After a long day at work, most men need to enjoy either quiet or mindless activity in order to decompress from their day.  This means your husband probably doesn’t want to hear the fascinating details of your day as soon as he walks in the door and he probably doesn’t want to talk about his day either…at least not for a while.

So, give your husband some space when he first walks in the door.  Greet him with a smile and a kiss and then allow him some time in his “nothing box”.    You will become more beautiful to him.  God says this to wives in 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…”

Your husband longs to be your hero

Did you know most men really like to be needed?  I know.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it.  Sometimes, it seems like it’s hard to get them to follow through on a task you asked them to handle.  But you know what?  Sometimes we pick inopportune times to ask.  Often we don’t have their full attention, or we mention the task along with five other things we discussed.  Remember, men don’t think the same way women do!  They usually focus on only one thing at a time.

Anyway, back to the “being needed” thing. 🙂 Surveys show most men really do want to be your hero. I believe it’s a way they feel respected, and we know that respect is so important for a man that God actually commands wives to respect their husbands in Ephesians 5:33!

This means our men want to lift a box that is kind of heavy for us.  They want to fix the leaky faucet and impress you with their “fix-it” skills.   They want to figure out a solution to your overloaded schedule problem.  They want to be our heroes.  The problem is this.  We often try to tackle everything ourselves….or when we do ask them to help with something, we either ask at a bad time, or we throw in the request amid a whole bunch of other “talk”.

Let’s try this week to ask for our husband’s help with something…at a convenient time, very clearly, and simply.  Then let’s show appreciation when he follows through.  I bet he will love being your hero.

What a godly husband should be like

Many Christian wives have asked me what they should expect from their husbands.  In other words, what is godly behavior for a husband?  Well, let’s look at what the Bible indicates about this.

Ephesians 5 includes one of the most comprehensive sets of instructions for husbands.  It says in verses 25 through 31… “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

 Wow!  That’s a pretty high standard!  Yet God expects husbands to strive to imitate Christ’s selfless love for his bride, the church.   My husband isn’t Jesus (lol), and I bet yours isn’t either, but our men are supposed to be seeking to become more like Jesus every day.  This means a husband should seek to serve the best interests of his wife and act in ways that indicates he cherishes her!

What your hubby needs to feel loved

You’ve probably heard of the “Five Love Languages”.  It’s something Christian author and psychologist Gary Chapman figured out about how people are wired in terms of receiving love.  The love languages are:  words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts.  Well, here’s something I’ve learned after talking with many wives whose husbands have completed the love language assessment.  Almost all men have “physical touch” as one of their top 2 love languages.

Ladies, this means your husband craves not just sex, but little signs of physical affection throughout the day.  When you do these small things, he feels loved by you.  So, why wouldn’t you give him the physical affection that you know would bless him?  By withholding what he needs to feel loved, we’re actually sinning!  James 4:17 says, “If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

Here are several ideas on how you can communicate love through physical touch.  Reach out to hold his hand as you walk through the store.  Give him a 20 second neck and shoulder rub as you’re walking by.  Pinch his tush as he walks through the kitchen.  Lean over his shoulder while he’s on the computer and give him a kiss.  Rest your hand on his leg while you’re sitting together on the couch watching TV.  These small acts of physical touch are totally easy and yet they mean so much to most husbands. Try it!

The perfect gift for your guy

The perfect gift for your husband…whether it’s Christmas, father’s day, his birthday or your anniversary….is super inexpensive.  Give him the gift of respect!  The Bible makes it clear that a wife is to respect her husband.  This instruction is found in Ephesians 5:33 which simply says “the wife must respect her husband”, and most wives know that a man craves his wife’s respect.  However, sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to communicate that respect.   It’s especially difficult if your husband isn’t perfect!  We naturally gravitate to focusing on what’s wrong with our men as opposed to what’s right.

I’m not saying we should ignore a husband’s blatant sin or destructive patterns.  We definitely need to pray about confronting disrespectful, destructive, or immoral patterns of behavior.  However, we can’t ONLY focus on his areas of weakness.  Our men need to know that we believe in them.  They need to know that we notice their strengths too!

A simple way to communicate respect is to voice appreciation for the big and small things your husband does for you and your family.  Does he go to work each day?  Tell him how much you appreciate his hard work.  Does he set aside some time each day to play with the kids?  Let him know how much you appreciate that.  Does he refrain from stopping at the bar on the way home from work?  Tell him how much you appreciate that he comes straight home to his family.  A great gift you can give to your husband is your daily appreciation for all he does, and to affirm things that he actually does right!  It’s a sign of respect.

A man’s need to process requests & emotions

Have you ever noticed a blank look on your husband’s face when you suddenly bring up a heavy topic, voice a frustration, or ask him to change a behavior?  Or does your husband seem to get defensive very quickly in those moments?  I’m discovering that the reason for the blank look or the immediate defensiveness is because a man thinks differently than a woman!

Women process thoughts, ideas and feelings at lightning speed.  We are ready to engage in a deep conversation at the drop of a hat.  We can verbalize how we feel instantaneously!  Men, on the other hand, need time to process their thoughts and feelings.  So…..when we suddenly bring up a deep topic, or state how we feel, or ask them to make a change in behavior, or heaven forbid, ask them how they feel, our men become like the proverbial “deer in the headlights”!   Often they default to the blank look on the face or they become defensive because they feel pressured to do or say something, and they haven’t yet had a chance to think things through.

Here’s what I’m trying to learn to do.  I need to bring up a concern or state my feelings on an issue and then let my husband have some breathing room to process it.  I need to say “let’s talk more about this later after you’ve had a chance to think about it.”  Most men need some space to process their thoughts and feelings.  Maybe this is a good opportunity for us to practice patience!  Ponder these two Proverbs.  Proverbs 19:11  “A person’s wisdom yields patience…”  Proverbs 14:29 “Whoever is patient has great understanding….”

How respect impacts your husband

Have you ever had this thought…”I don’t respect my husband”?  Honestly, I had that thought quite often in my first marriage, and because I didn’t FEEL respect, I didn’t ACT particularly respectful.  Unfortunately, I just went with how I felt.  I rolled my eyes at his ideas.  I took control of most everything in our family because I didn’t think he was capable.  I corrected him a lot.  And…..after quite a few years, he turned to other women for validation.

I learned many lessons after that failed marriage.  One of them is that a man desperately needs the respect of his wife.  He needs to know that she believes in him and is FOR him.  Now, this doesn’t mean she is supposed to ignore destructive and sinful choices in his life.  No, she needs to gently but firmly confront him if he is caught in a pattern of sin.  But, even then, she can be loving and kind and respectful!

In my 2nd marriage to Raul, I am pressing into this Biblical command (Ephesians 5:33) for wives to respect their husbands.  And oh my, what a difference it makes!  He has told me many times that he wouldn’t be able to tackle the things he’s doing in life and for God if it weren’t for me being FOR him.  In fact, he will often get tears in his eyes when I treat him respectfully because this is a new thing for him as well…and he desperately craves my respect.  All men do.  Try it and see what happens in your marriage.  Have you already tried it?  How has it impacted your marriage?

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

What to do if husband’s plans seem crazy!

Are you bewildered by the amount of time your husband spends surfing online to check out the latest, fastest motorcycles available, or talking about quitting his job to open a risky new business, or dreaming about buying a huge boat and sailing around the world?  Apparently, you’re not alone!  Many wives report being frustrated, bewildered, and maybe even scared about their husband’s “crazy” ideas to spend way too much money on a hobby or to take a gigantic risk on some new money-making adventure or wild life-style change.  So, what’s a wife to do?  Let me give you two thoughts:

1)  Since a wife is to show respect to her husband (Ephesians 5:33), avoid the tendency to ridicule his plans, but instead come to him gently and with a true desire to understand how his idea would work.  You can simply say, “Tell me more about your idea…”  Then, you can ask gentle, respectful follow-up questions, such as, “How are you thinking we would handle the financial part of that idea?” or “Do you have some thoughts on how we would pay our mortgage while your new business is getting started?”

2)  Also, ask your husband if he will take the matter to God in prayer to seek God’s guidance on his dreams and plans. By the way, it will be super helpful if you’re humble and ask your husband if he has any concerns about the way that you spend your free time or about the things you tend to focus on.  When we are humble, our husbands are much more willing to accept input and gentle correction.  Colossians 3:12 says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

He needs you to admire his physical strength

We all know women are pretty obsessed with their appearance, but men care about how they appear as well.  Specifically, they want to appear strong.  Your guy probably isn’t going to tell you this, but most husbands want you to appreciate their strength.  They want you to notice and be in awe of their muscles!

It’s in a man’s DNA to want to exude physical strength.  When God first created man, the Bible says in Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”   Those instructions to cultivate the garden involve strength and power.  So, affirm your husband’s strength.  The next time he lifts something heavy, notice his strength and let him know it!  If you actually see a bulging bicep, treat it like eye-candy and tell him his biceps are sexy.  I bet you’ll see your husband’s eyes light up a little bit, and more importantly, I believe you’ll also see him grow in confidence.  He wants to be your hero.  He needs to be your hero.